For how can you convince God to make Him change His mind, to make Him save you from the wrath of his judgement that you have incurred for yourself?” he said, his face still fixed on me. He was almost crying as his eye-balls whirled but he brought himself under control. He behaved like the man he was, as tears almost became an impossibility for him.
“Prisca,” he called again and shook his head mournfully. I fixed my gaze on his face but that needed a lot of courage. As soon as he finished, tears began to trickle down my cheeks, making them wet with sympathy.
“I am sorry, Collins. Please, forgive me.” I had not called his name for a long time.” I am sorry, please.”
Ask God for forgiveness and not me. Ask the mother of…o God, you shouldn’t have created woman at all.” He sighed mirthlessly.” Prisca, so you are this heartless?”
I could not answer him. I could not control the flow where I was sitting, wiped my tears and walked up to him where he sat by the dining table. I knelt down by his side, closed my tear-filled eyes and began to beg him to forgive me and forget about the whole thing. He insisted that forgiveness comes from God and that I should ask God to show me His mercy. I wanted to open my eyes then, to look at his face as he preached his sermon but I couldn’t, I was afraid of my timidity when I reflected about my dastardly act of taking another person’s life.
“Leave this place, Prisca, before your woeful and wicked tears burn this life in my hands to ashes. And do not let me vent my bottled anger on you.”He spat out his verbal vermin. “Heartless woman.”
I stood up, cleaned my knees and made straight for my bedroom as staying by his side longer than necessary would have been tantamount to asking for more of that verbal venom. I knelt down again by my bedside and began to ask God for forgiveness, begging Him to pardon my soul that was destined to eternal fire as Collins had said. No sooner had I settled than he came in. I knew he was following me. Immediately he entered, he roared loudly and almost deafened me. “Get up there! You little hypocrite. It is true that God is merciful but not as merciful as to forgive the likes of you, I am sure.”
I rose as he had ordered and went to my bed straight. He watched over me for a few seconds, then left, cursing me angrily and ranting bitterly as he was leaving. It had never been like that before and I could not quite fathom why that day’s anger became boundless. As I lay on my bed, I began to see the reasons clearly why my husband had found me disgusting for almost four months now, why he had found me distasteful for such a long period of time and there was his mother too to add to my problems.
I discovered in my moments of reflection that it was all my fault and there was no way I could run away from or deny that mind-blowing fact. I realized that he had every blessed (and even cursed) reason to take up verbal arms against me. I had overstepped my bounds in the execution of my devilish plans. But will God forgive me? I had asked myself as I lay there reflecting on my recent past. If I were God, I wouldn’t have forgiven myself at all, considering the magnitude of my misdeed. My sins were beyond redemption, I was sure, but I prayed all the same for His infinite and indiscriminatory mercy, for Him to grant me the courage to face the daily harassment from Collins.
That would be better as I had conditioned my mind already. What else could I have done? Although I had not taken anything as I returned from the office, I lay there still and the whole thing crawled to crowd my militated mind.
I am four months pregnant now and daily the reality hit me like a thunderbolt. I can’t imagine an old frail woman in the person of his mother baby-sit for me as it is happening now. A new born baby needs a mother but I have robbed one of its own.
My husband has not made love to me since then, not because I am pregnant but because of what I had done. All my pleas have fallen on stony ears. I was looking for peace but I got sorrow, anxiety, grief, endless trouble, ageless sorrow. I wonder when it would be over, if at all it ever would.
Daily, my husband has been attacking me with verbal missiles.
“Devil”, he had said. “I wonder how you will feel when somebody kills you before your baby is born.”
True to his words, I wonder how I will feel myself. I wonder if I can ever resolve the differences. I have made up my mind to cuddle the baby, but will my husband ever agree, will he ever give me the ample room I need to shower my rediscovered fondness for the baby, my love which is borne out of sympathy.
But if only I had given heed to the warning of Jesus Christ our Lord. Do not pay evil for good. I thought I was doing myself a favour for paying my husband evil for the good he did by telling me the secret that he had a mistress, but now I know the hollowness of that thought. Now, I can see clearly the emptiness of it all, and like a vessel, guilt is making the loudest noise, haunting my sleep even before my victim’s ghost rises against me.
I am in trouble. My husband said that he is afraid of having me as a wife, everyday, Collins and his mother, the baby-sitter make it a point of duty to rain abuses on me. But, all in all, my problem is self-inflicted.” Thou shalt not kill, Moses recorded in the holy book and I had killed. Who will save me? Can I turn an ostrich, dip my head in the sand of time and forget about it? No, it will torment me till I die. Readers, do your best for me. Tell my husband to have a change of mind.
Now, as I am writing this piece, I can still feel the way it all started, the way he told me about it. Diffidently, he began his tale. I can still sense the sadness on his face as he hopelessly narrated his minor ordeal to me. I made up my mind instantly to do the best which I boastfully did. And now, I am a fugitive, always seeking a safe place to refuge that I can never find. Now that I am suffering, I am all alone. My friends have played their parts and gone.
To the gladness of agents of doom, I am bountifully reaping what I sowed. The mistakes I made were that I could not bring my thoughts to the weighing scale of truth and forgiveness. Instead, headlong, I plunged my soul into eternal damnation by that singular act. I am in trouble. Serious trouble!
…to be continued